I believe that improving your connection with your dog is the easiest way to enhance your quality of life. There is no better feeling than working as team with your best friend, and I pride myself on coaching you to do that through dogsports – namely agility!
I view myself as a coach more than an instructor – I aim to build a team between you and your dog through customized coaching using fun and innovative methods. By teaching you how to understand your dog and handle them off leash (on and off the agility course), we build confidence in the handler, dog and the relationship as a whole.
Agility is a fun and interactive way to build a better working relationship with your dog which will enhance your ability to control them in day to day life. This sport is about connection, respect and understanding how to ‘speak dog’. All of my instruction is inspired by OneMind Dogs™ methodology which focuses on communicating with your dog in a way they naturally understand. Essentially, instead of teaching our dogs how to speak English, I teach you how to speak dog! Having taught handlers as young as five and as old as seventy-five how to succeed in agility, I have found this to be a very effective way of coaching people of all ages and abilities. Because my instruction is based on your dog’s natural behaviours it is an easy and effective way of teaching agility to any dog – big or small!
My agility career started in 2006, and I have been coaching since 2010. In 2014 I discovered the OneMind Dogs™ system and immediately began educating myself on it. After studying under leading OneMind Dogs™ Coaches in seminars across Canada, I was completely hooked on this way of teaching dogs (and humans) agility. I decided to further my education by travelling to Finland to study under the founders of the system where I received one on one, personal coaching from the creators and CEO of the company. I am proud to be a part of this innovative system become a OneMind Dogs™ Brand Ambassador. Other trainers I have studied under include world renowned veterinarian and father of positive dog training Dr. Ian Dunbar who changed the way many people approach dog training with his ``Science Based Dog Training (with Feeling)``. He specializes in 'dog friendly dog training' - in other words, the dogs understand and actually enjoy the training.
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ME
I love a challenge. I founded Free Spirit Dogs because I pride myself being able to teach people how to negotiate with difficult dogs on and off the agility course. I’ve had dogs all my life but my career started with a problem dog, Eddie, a Maltese Cockapoo cross who gave me a run for my money with behavioural issues. I started training Eddie with a company in Edmonton; soon we were competing in agility and before I knew it we had won Top Junior Handler in Canada at the AAC National Agility Championships two years in a row. We also consistently placed top three in Canada at numerous national agility competitions. My Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Jagger also competed at a national level. Eddie and Jagger are both retired from agility and now live the lap of luxury as pets. I am currently training Rizzo, my young Jack Russel and Letty, my Border Collie puppy in agility. At home I also have a Pitbull, Finley who has the toughest job of all as an 80lb lap dog. Dogs are like puzzles - I love solving each and every one and I’d love to teach you how to speak dog!